Blogging is one among many tools a small business can use in their digital marketing strategy. According to Vertical Response over 55% of small businesses are already leveraging their blog and spending an average of 1-3 hours per post. In order to realize the greatest return on the investment a business owner should proceed with a clear plan and a realistic understanding of why a business could or should blog. Here are three reasons a small business should be blogging.
Why Blog? Inbound Leads
Your blog can generate new business by optimizing for inbound leads.
Customers don’t wait around for advertising to come to them anymore. Customers are out on the Internet using search engines and social networks to discover new information and content. An inbound marketing strategy meets customers out in the web by providing useful content that is easy to find which drives users back to your website. Find out what your customers need to know from you with a little market research and provide content which meets that need. Then, make sure your content is easy to find by reviewing Google’s SEO guide and sharing your blog on the social web.
Why Blog? Brand Positioning
You can use your blog to crystallize your business’ voice and image on the web.
Are people reading blogs and do blogs affect how people perceive a brand? Yes and yes. The recent 2012 social media report by Nielsen shows that blog readership is up in general and has doubled on mobile platforms over the last 12 months. A few pages later, Nielsen shows that the primary motivator in connecting with users over the social web (blogs included) is an existing relationship, followed by a desire to keep up to date with people and brands.
Your blog should be an extension of your overall marketing plan and support your main messaging points. A blog is a place where your business can use its own voice to create a deeper relationship with customers and provide content which supports the image you want your customers to have of your business.
Why Blog? Direct sales
You can use your blog to create sales with simple direct announcements.
If your blog is consistently maintained with content which serves your customer base then you can and should leverage your blog for sales. Announcing new products, services or coupons and sales is a great way to both reward existing readers and generate new business. In addition to content which answers a market need you should feel free to use your blog as a delivery mechanism for important sales announcements.
Are these the only three reasons a small business should be blogging? No, the net is vast and infinite and there are as many opportunities out there as there are unique users. But before every step you take on the net make sure you have a clear idea of what your destination is. There is no invisible hand which will somehow propel your business to the top of the net. Even a small business can set blogging goals and create a plan to reach those goals.